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Morphological studies of the ligules of selected Indian species of Selaginella (Selaginellaceae)
- Singh, Sarvesh Kumar, Shukla, Santosh Kumar, Dubey, Nawal Kishore, Shukla, Pradeep Kumar, Lansdown, Richard V.
- Flora 2019
- Selaginella plana, habitats, leaves, India
- The article presents the results of a study of the ligule morphology of both vegetative and reproductive leaves of four species of Selaginella, i.e. S. delicatula, S. ganguliana, S. plana and S. tenera, occurring in India. Ligules of S. ganguliana, S. plana and S. tenera are described for the first time, and the occurrence of shuttlecock-like ligules is described for the first time. Ligule shape is generally constant across the species studied but some minor morphological variations are observed within species. However, in combination with other morphological characters, the ligule may be a useful tool in the taxonomic delimitation of closely related Selaginella species. In addition, we propose that ligule size may be influenced by the habitat conditions, whereas the presence of glandular cells at their tip margins possibly indicate a water secreting function.